What is it?

The EFQM model is a framework for management systems, developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management. It aims to: assess performance; integrate and align existing tools, procedures and processes; introduce a way of thinking that encourages reflection and stimulates continuous improvement; and identify the key actions that are driving results.

A key feature of the model is a diagnostic framework that allows organisations to grade themselves against nine core criteria. These focus on the cause and effect relationship between what an organisation does and the results it achieves.

What benefits does the framework provide?

  • Satisfied and loyal customers
  • Successful leaders
  • A common sense of purpose throughout the organisation
  • Constant, well-managed change
  • Engaged and motivated employees and other stakeholders
  • An upward flow of ideas
  • Efficient and effective use of data
  • Efficient and effective operations
  • Pride and the desire to drive further improvement
  • Minimal fire-fighting / recurring problems
  • A culture where innovation is the norm
  • Excellent results, including good financial performance.

Implementing EFQM? Questions to consider:

  • Do you clearly understand the EFQM excellence model (concepts, criteria and RADAR)?
  • Do you understand how the model relates to your organisation?
  • Is there top-level buy-in to use the model for driving continuous improvement?
  • Is it clear how the EFQM model will work with other management models used within the organisation, e.g. Six Sigma or Kaizen?
Actions to take / Dos Actions to avoid / Don'ts
  • Complete a simple self-assessment of your organisation to establish a baseline.
  • Agree an improvement plan.
  • Visit a comparable organisation to see the model in action.
  • Form a core leadership team to manage the deployment of the model.
  • Train key people on the EFQM model.
  • Use the model to explain how the organisation works to create value for customers.
  • Avoid bureaucracy that obscures the benefits of deploying the model. For example, form-filling, routine meetings and meaningless measures.
  • Avoid the model being viewed as an additional layer of control.
  • Avoid it being used merely to assess periodical improvements in the ways the organisation works.
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